UK imam honoured for response to London mosque attack
Imam Mohammed Mahmoud was given an OBE for his bravery shielding the terrorist attacker from angry worshippers until the police arrived
A London-based Imam has been given an Office of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) award for jumping to the defence of an attacker at a north London mosque in June 2017, seconds after he drove his van into worshippers.
Imam Mohammed Mahmoud, who is now based in the East London Mosque in Whitechapel, was awarded for his bravery during the Finsbury Park terror attack by Prince William at Buckingham Palace on Thursday.
The attack on June 19 killed one worshipper and injured others, in what was a planned attack on Muslims. The attacker, 47-year-old far-right extremist Darren Osborne, was shielded from the crowd by Mr Mahmoud until the police arrived.
The attack followed a string of vehicle ramming attacks in Europe and the Middle East in 2017.
On June 23, 2017, Osborne was charged with terrorism-related murder and attempted murder and he was found guilty at Woolwich Crown Court on both counts. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Many lauded Mr Mahmoud for being a hero, but he told ITV that he had never accepted the term but was “humbled” to receive the award.
“Heroes are those who go beyond the line of duty, whereas what I did on that night, with a group of other congregants from our mosque, was not extraordinary,” the imam told the UK news channel.
“It was our duty to de-escalate the situation and to calm people down and to bring people to their senses and that thankfully is what happened.”
Updated: March 29, 2019 05:18 PM